Shame on the Eagles for offering up one whole public practice session this summer while charging $10 for an event that used to be free. Shame on the organization for marginalizing the portion of the fan base that can’t afford game day ticket and parking prices, or the perks that come with being a season ticket holder.
Sure, I understand the money is going to charity, and I think everybody is cool with that, but let’s be honest:
Jeffrey Lurie is worth 2.1 billion dollars and could literally just transfer $500k to the Eagles Autism Challenge whenever necessary. It’s like you or I moving 300 bucks from our checking account into our savings account via smart phone.
But the real gripe is less about the $10 ticket price and more about the almost decade-long debasement of a once-heralded part of the NFL season. Lehigh University training camp used to be a formative moment for Eagles fans, a pilgrimage of sorts that you embarked on with friends and family. You got to meet legendary players like Reggie White, Jeremiah Trotter, and Chris Boniol. Maybe you shook their hand or got a photo or autograph. Training camp created memories that lasted a lifetime, and now that’s been pretty much reduced to nothing.
Most teams still offer free sessions to their fans. In fact, 28 of the 30 NFL teams fall into that category.
Tim McManus, who broke the training camp news this morning, says the Seattle Seahawks are the other team that doesn’t have a free public session, after the jump:
The Seahawks charge a $10 transportation fee for practices at their VMAC training facility, requiring all fans to get to the field via provided shuttles from a nearby mall.
Based on polling of the 32 ESPN NFL Nation reporters, the Eagles and Seahawks are currently the only teams that do not offer a public practice that can be accessed without a fee. Seattle has one training camp practice this year at Pop Keeney stadium that comes with a $10 “event-related fee” as well. The other 11 open practices will be held at their training facility, one of the largest in the NFL, with registration on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Seahawks’ facility is on Lake Washingon, so there literally is nowhere for fans to park. That’s unlike the Philly sports complex, which is a flat and boring concrete jungle with 10 bazillion parking spots.
I drew a helpful diagram for you:
Right, so you have to park elsewhere and then shuttle up to the training center, so it is what it is.
Here’s how the rest of the NFC East handles training camp:
When does Redskins Training Camp begin and end?
Training Camp opens Thursday, July 25 and ends Sunday, August 11.
How many practices are there?
There are 22 on-field open sessions open to the public. Practice dates are subject to change without notice, especially in the event of inclement weather. Download the Redskins Mobile App or check back to Redskins.com/TrainingCamp for schedule updates.
22 practice sessions where fans can watch that fucking slop.
They’ve been training in Oxnard, California in recent years. This year it looks like 13 practice sessions are open to the public. Looks like they’ve also done open sessions in Frisco, back in Texas, in late August.
New York Giants
I don’t see a 2019 schedule out there, but last year they trained at MetLife and all sessions were open to the public:
Location: All practices will be held at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Admission: All practice sessions will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis throughout training camp (July 26-Aug. 7). Limited seating is provided alongside the practice fields. There is no admission charge for watching training camp practices. Gates open one hour before each practice session begins.
Yeah, so good job by the Eagles here really connecting with the fans and giving them an opportunity to see the team and meet their favorite players. I don’t wanna hear about how expensive it is to open Lincoln Financial Field or staff the stadium or whatever, because you’re an NFL team pulling in almost half a billion dollars a year. If you want donations, ask fans to pick the dollar amount and make that the price of admission. There are other, better ways to do this.
In what world is it okay for the Dallas Cowboys to outshine the Eagles in this department?